Tips For Diagnosing A Bad Automotive Water Pump

One part of your vehicle that can fail over time is the water pump, which has the job of circulating coolant throughout your vehicle's coolant system and keeping the engine cool. However, you're likely wondering how you can tell if this part needs to be repaired or replaced. Here are some problems to look out for.

Service Engine Light

The first way that you may notice there is a problem with your water pump is through the service engine light. Unfortunately, there is not a simple error code that can be read from the service engine light, which is because the water pump is a mechanical part that is not going to give off digital codes. 

What you will get is an error code about the engine overheating. The code is triggered because the coolant temperature sensor is reading that the engine coolant is too hot, which is due to the coolant not circulating properly. If you have that service engine light illuminated, visit a professional that can help tell you the specific error code you are getting. Dashboard error codes can be read by a mechanic or a local auto parts store.

Weep Hole Leaking

Your water pump has seals within it that can fail over time. When these seals fail and engine coolant escapes, the coolant will escape through the water pump's weep hole. It's a small hole located on the water pump, which is specifically designed to allow coolant to leak through it to let you know that internal seals have gone bad. 

Engine Overheating

If the water pump is not allowing coolant to circulate properly, it is going to cause your engine to eventually overheat. You may notice that the temperature gauge on your dashboard gets hotter and hotter, with the temperature gauge no longer resting in the middle of the gauge. If the temperature gets too hot, you'll end up with smoke coming from the engine, which will be immediately noticeable as you are driving. 

Whining Sounds

A bad water pump can cause your vehicle to make whining sounds. This is due to the bearings within the water pump failing or a loose pulley that is attached to the water pump. Whining sounds can be a bit harder to diagnose on your own, but your mechanic may recognize them with ease.

No Heat

Without coolant circulating through the engine to remove heat, your vehicle's heat is never going to get warm during the winter. Have the water pump inspected if your car is not warming up with the heat on, as it's likely due to the water pump failing. 

For more information on auto parts, contact a professional near you.